Experts and BHG readers answer.
How do I freeeze fresh pears?
That sounds delicious! Pears do well frozen and stored for later. Here are the steps you need to get started, taken from our Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book 14th edition. Allow 2 to 3 pounds per quart for freezing and storing your pears.
1. Hold produce in the refrigerator if it can't be frozen immediately. Rinse and drain small quantities through several changes of cold water. Lift fruit out of hte water; do not let it soak.
2. Peel, halve, and core pears. Treat with ascorbic-acid color-keeper solution; drain.
3. Use a syrup pack to store the pears. Depending on the sweetness of the fruit (and your taste), choose a light or heavy syrup. To prepare a syrup, place the following amounts of sugar and water in a large saucepan. Heat until the sugar dissolves. Skim off foam, if necessary. Chill the syrup for frozen fruits. All 1/2 to 2/3 cup syrup for each 2 cups fruit.
- for very thin syrup: use 1-2/3 cups sugar and 4 cups water to yield 4-1/4 cups syrup
- for medium syrup: use 2-2/3 cups sugar and 4 cups water to yield 4-2/3 cups syrup
- for heavy syrup: use 4 cups sugar and 4 cups water to yield 5-3/4 cups syrup
4. Package the cooled fruit and syrup into freezer containers, leaving recommended headspace.
- for a wide-top container that has straight or slightly flared sides: leave 1/2-inch headspace for pints, 1-inch headspace for quarts
- for narrow-top containers and freezer-safe jars: leave 3/4-inch headspace for pints, 1-1/2-inch headspace for quarts
5. Wipe container rims. Seal according to the manufacturer's directions, pressing out as much air as possible. If necessary, use freezer tape around the edges of the lids to ensure a tight seal.
6. Label each container with its contents, the amount, and the date.
7. Add packages to the freezer in batches to make sure that food freezes quickly and solidly. Leave some space between the packages so air can circulate around them. When frozen solid, the packages can be placed closer together.
8. Use frozen fruits within 8 to 10 months. Thaw fruits in their containers either in the refrigerator or in a bowl of cool water.